Friday, 29 April 2011

Collard Pratincole

I had my second trip to Lincolnshire and faired marginally better than my last trip.
First I went for the tawny pipit at Tetney Lock and spent another 3 fruitless hours marching up and down looking for it.
The only consolation was some superbly coloured dotterel in the pea field long the side of the canal.
Then I went to Immingham for the collard pratincole. At first it was sat on a small island pretty close then it went hawking insects for about 2 hours giving some spectacular flight displays but making it pretty tricky to photograph.
I was very pleased with these results and could be tempted to go back tomorrow-unless something crops up at Spurn....

Saturday, 23 April 2011

I have had a couple of half sessions at Spurn over the weekend. Friday's was a bit disappointing as I arrived late and there was not a great deal of stuff about. yesterday I got there for 6.00 and the morning was absolutely gorgeous-no wind the river was like glass and the air filled with birdsong. I started off on beacon Lane and there were 4 singing grasshopper warblers 2 of which were quite obliging and happy to sing in full view whilst I was only 10m away, There was also a few whitethroats and sedge warblers about and a single reed warbler. Then on to Beacon ponds where there was a few little terns a single sandwich tern and a grey plover.
News of a red rumped swallow crackled over the radio as did 4 shorelarks at Chalk Bank.
On the way back down I saw a single green hairstreak flying north down Beacon Lane.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Spring Gems

I had a trip out of county today.
Up before dawn and arrived on site at 6.00. It was still quite misty and no one was there.
As soon as I got through the gates I heard the unmistakeable sound of a nightingale.
Further into the site there was another 2 then even further was this one.
It was being coaxed to sing by a nearby female-the next couple of hours were awesome as it sang at the top of its voice and quite occasionally appeared out in the open.
One of natures true wonders.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Bempton Shore Lark

I've been hoping to get a shot of a shore lark for a few years now and never fancied a trip to the Lincs coast in winter. Today I got lucky- there was at least one reported at bempton at mid-day so I thought I would try for it tonight. I had a walk down to the cliff top and headed south then came across a path between two fields- one was completely bare having being recently tilled and the other was a mixture of stubble and weeds-it was full of birds including at least dozen wheatear, a yellow wagtail, white wagtail, skylark and linnet.
Walking further down i saw a small brown bird fly up and land in the tiled field -it was a shorelark and the first one I've sen for nearly 30 years.
It showed very well in the two fields until the light faded and the temperature dropped dramatically.
Cracking bird.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Locustella Fever

I had another day at Spurn today- I got there just after 6 this morning and it was absolutely gorgeous.
No wind glorious sunshine and the air full of birdsong.
First bird was a grasshopper warbler singing along the edge of the canal.
Then a couple of sedge warbles and a few more common migrants. I then went up to Sammy's Point but (at the time) it was quiet with less wheatears and wagtails than yesterday and again only common migrants.
Then down Spurn road for a couple of blue headed wagtails (more distant than yesterday) and it was here that news broke of the areas only second ever Savis warbler.
It was very elusive and I managed only a few shots. I hoped that it would show this evening but to no avail. Alaso managed some views of the black redstart around canal scrape. All in all a cracking day.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Sammy's Point

I had a ride down to Spurn today.
First stop was Crown and Anchor-plenty of common migrants including quite a few blackcaps.Then on to canal scrape-it was very quiet so I had a look in the bushes again common migrants but nothing startling.
I then headed up to Sammy's Point here there were lost of wheatear and yellow wagtails. A walk to the far end yielded more common stuff including whitethroat, willow warbler and more blackcaps.
From Sammy's I went for some lunch at the Blue bell , it was here I heard the news of a red-rumped swallow crackling over the radio.Then back to the canal scrape, only a pied wagtail there so went back up to Sammy's for the second time.
As soon as I looked in the bushes there was a redstart and then looking over the paddock even better- a blue headed wagtail. With some very confiding wheatears it made for a nice afternoon,
Easterlies tonight so maybe something good in the morning?